Biden’s plan to send COVID vaccines abroad falls short, 2 FDA regulators cast doubt on booster

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks with medical workers during a visit to a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination site at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., April 6, 2021. Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo.

President Biden announced on May 17 that the United States would ship 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines around the world. One White House official described the effort as “Operation Warp Speed on steroids.”

But the process to get multiple vaccines to dozens of countries was fraught with issues like major delays, communication lapses, and international red tape. By the end of June, only about 14 million vaccine doses had been donated to other countries. But the pace has since been picked up.

However, now the Biden administration is weighing the rollout of a booster shot program that would seemingly take vaccines away from their international distribution. And this week, two outgoing FDA regulators published an article in the medical journal “The Lancet,” saying most Americans don’t need a third COVID booster shot, and that America should be prioritizing getting vaccines to countries in need.

Credits

Guest:

  • Katherine Eban - American investigative journalist and author whose work focuses on public health and homeland security issues